A rural riddle: When is a village not a village?

Where has it become dangerous to turn out of your driveway?

Where is a B-road masquerading as a major route with huge volumes of traffic and the current speed limit repeatedly flouted?

When do you discover that you live in the village of Althorne but your house does not?

Answer: If you live in the village of Althorne, exiting on to Fambridge Road and you can’t understand why Maldon Local Highways Panel has refused the speed limit be lowered to 30mph, namely because they say this part of Althorne is not a village.

Residents are angry and progressively worried about their safety exiting on to Fambridge Road, given the volumes and speeds of traffic, and now the addition of lorries carrying building materials thundering past, making even the single footpath dangerous.

Councils and panels appear to not care about emotions but deal in facts.

So: fact; the website for Maldon District Council has the Althorne Village Neighbourhood Plan with a map showing the boundaries for the Althorne village which was completely disregarded in the incorrect placement of the new (and expensive) half white gate near Ford’s Corner.

Fact: The Secretary of State approved the Maldon District Council Development Plan on July 21, 2017.

In the “Introduction and Context” section, sub-para 1.48 Maldon District Council refers to the “village of Althorne”.

So the simple riddle is: Why is Althorne classified a village by Maldon District Council for its development plan but not classified a Village by Maldon Local Highways Panel, which will not allow a 30mph speed limit commensurate with a village?

If this riddle cannot be solved at local level, then it is time to ask authorities higher up to solve this.


Anne MacKay and Stephen Bassett